Solving the mystery of mass almost ruined Peter Higgs’s life

In 1993 William Waldegrave, the science minister, was looking into a project being planned on the continent. Cern, the European research body, was upgrading its particle collider to create what it called the Large Hadron Collider. This underground apparatus ran beneath the French-Swiss border and it was so vast that its diameter equalled that of the Circle Line. Two beams of subatomic particles called protons would be fired around this subterranean loop in opposing directions and smashed together at 99.99 per cent of the speed of light. The scientists’ aim was to prove the existence of a fundamental particle called the Higgs Boson, which they hoped would appear momentarily from